Fast-rising UFC light-heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson isn't sure what's next for him.
Gustafsson, who today shot down unsubstantiated reports of a broken hand, recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio
) he's targeting a summer return to the cage.
If it just so happens to coincide with UFC 151's championship headliner between light-heavyweight titleholder Jon Jones and Dan Henderson, all the better.
After all, Gustafsson has won five straight fights, including his UFC on FUEL TV 2 headliner with Thiago Silva back in April. Few top-level light heavyweights remain, and he recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio the UFC has given him few hints.
"No idea yet actually," he said when asked what's next. "I hope I can fight the end of the summer or somewhere around there."
With another victory, Gustafsson (14-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) could be in line to fight the winner of the Sept. 1 Jones (16-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) vs. Henderson (29-8 MMA, 5-2 UFC) title fight. Then again, as Frank Mir did in his recent UFC 146 headliner with heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos, Gustafsson could step in line for either Jones or Henderson should one become injured or unable to fight.
Mir got the unexpected title fight when Alistair Overeem failed a pre-fight drug test. Would such a replacement scenario appeal to the 25-year-old Swede?
"Yeah, absolutely," he said. "I wouldn't say no to that. That's what I train for: a shot at the title. That's why I do this. I want to win a belt.
"(But I have) no idea what the UFC will do. I take it one fight at a time, and I don't what the UFC has planned for me. I don't know what the plans look like. Hopefully I'll fight somewhere around that time, though."
Currently, former 205-pound champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua needs an opponent for UFC 149's co-main event on July 21. However, UFC president Dana White recently told MMAjunkie.com he wants Glover Teixeira to take that fight.
Otherwise, ex-champ Rashad Evans is coming off a loss, Lyoto Machida is matched up with Ryan Bader at UFC on FOX 4 in August, Quinton Jackson's timetable for a return is unknown, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is still on the mend, and Phil Davis is Gustafsson's training partner.
"So I'm just waiting to hear from the UFC," Gustafsson said.
Perhaps Gustafsson will simply wait on the sidelines and await the Jones-Henderson winner. Or he could fill in for one of them as an injury replacement. But should the fight happen, Gustafsson knows who he thinks is winning.
"I think Jones will win that fight," he said. "I think it'll be a decision."
For more on UFC 151, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.